SOMERSET Vikings Rugby League Club have begun preparation for their 2014 season with pre-season training which started last (Wednesday) night at Old Morganians Rugby Club from 7pm.

If you watched any of the Rugby League World Cup, or fancy finding out how Chris Ashton got so good, come down and join say hello and join in with training.

The South West of England was, and still is, renowned as a stronghold of the Union game. But there are now Rugby League teams from Gloucester down to Truro.

Rugby League is played in the summer and thus the respective seasons only briefly overlap. And this allows union players a great opportunity to increase their fitness.

At the top level of the game it is not unusual for players and coaches to move between codes and there is a growing recognition that the skills, although subtly different, are complementary and equally deserving of admiration.

Vikings were formed in 2003 by Chris Richards, a Royal Marine, and Darren Horne, a New Zealander.

Now in their eleventh year, the team have increased their fan base and squad size beyond the expectations of many who doubted League would survive in the South West.

They have helped players move on to play at national level and feed into Filton Colleges Rugby League Academy.

The Vikings’ first game this year will see them playing a pre-season friendly against the Royal Marine Commandos.

The first league game is away to Swindon St George on the May 17 with the first home game on May 31 against old friends and rivals Gloucester Warriors at the Vikings Bridgwater ground of Old Morganians RFC.

With the launch of the new second team, the club is welcoming new players, whether they are people who want to learn the game, or established rugby union players who would like to play sociable summer rugby. All are welcome.

Vikings are looking to expand into a junior team and are also looking for sponsors to help develop the club.

For more information contact Bob Blainey on 07763205510 or see